Check out the ‘mini Switzerlands’ of India

Kashmir is known as ‘Paradise on Earth’ and is one of the most charming places in India. Photo: iStock/Sudip Jotshi

The mountainous European country of Switzerland has earned the sobriquet ‘A Paradise on Earth’ for obvious reasons. If you fancy a vacation oozing with snow-capped mountains, meadows awash in green, opulent resorts and tranquil lakes, Switzerland can probably satisfy you the best.

Moreover, the paradisiacal country is dotted with awe-inspiring vistas all around. But what if you get an opportunity to enjoy all the wonderful things on offer in Switzerland somewhere else? It may sound implausible, but it is true.

Believe it or not, India has many incredible spots that could give Switzerland a run for its money. Here’s a list of places that could be rightly termed ‘Switzerland of India’.

Khajjiar, Himachal Pradesh
Though Khajjiar is a small plateau, this quaint hill station in Himachal Pradesh has been attracting tourists from far and wide with its dreamy natural environment. The vast green grasslands and verdant pine forests with a placid lake in the middle against the backdrop of the lofty Dauladhar Hills will make your day.

As there are parallels between Khajjiar and Switzerland when it comes to the beauty of nature, this town near Dalhousie is often known as the ‘Mini Switzerland of India’. Without an iota of doubt, Khajjiar should be on the bucket list of every traveller and nature enthusiast.

You can visit Khajjiar throughout the year.

The nearest airport is Kangra Airport in Gaggal (115km).
The nearest railway station is Pathankot railway station (115km).

Kashmir, Jammu
Kashmir is known as ‘Paradise on Earth’ and is one of the most charming places in India. Nature’s spectacular offerings such as gleaming lakes, bubbling rivers, green meadows and snow-draped mountains can blow your mind. And Kashmir becomes a wonderland of great proportions in winter.

Kashmir is a perfect holiday destination that can keep all types of travellers enthralled. It is a place that should be visited at least once in a lifetime. Some of the beautiful spots in Kashmir such as Gulmarg, Srinagar, Pahalgam and Sonmarg, among others, create a magical tapestry of nature’s wonders. It is better to visit Kashmir between the months of March and August.
The nearest airport is Sheikh ul-Alam International Airport in Srinagar.
The nearest railway stations are Srinagar and Jammu Tawi.

Auli, Uttarakhand
You don’t have to travel to the Swiss Alps for a holiday in a ski resort as the awe-inspiring modest hill station of Auli in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district is waiting to pamper backpackers with similar facilities.

Undoubtedly, Auli is one of the prominent skiing destinations in India as it has snow-covered slopes that provide the perfect skiing experience for adventure seekers.

The winter makes Auli a great gateway for people who want their share of adrenaline rush.

You can visit Auli all year round.

The nearest airport is the Jolly Grand Airport in Dehradun (180km).
Dehradun railway station is the nearest station (150km).

Munsiyari, Uttarakhand
Munsiyari is a village tucked away amidst the snow-capped mountains of the Himalayas in Pithoragarh district in Uttarakhand. The mesmerizing beauty of this hill station can be gauged from the fact that it is situated close to 2,228m above sea level. Munsiyari means ‘Place with Snow’ and it is also referred to as ‘Little Kashmir’.

Best time to visit
Munsiyari boasts of cool and pleasant weather throughout the year and the temperature hovers between 5 degree Celsius and 25 degree Celsius. The summer season is the best time to enjoy trekking, camping and other outdoor activities in Munsiyari.

How to reach
It is a bit tough to reach Munsiyari as the village is not directly connected with the major cities of the country. The nearest airport and railway station are more than 200km away from the fabled hamlet. It is also pretty hard to reach the village by road. The nearest airport is in Dehradun, which is 214km away from Munsiyari. The nearest railway stations are Kathgodam (275km) and Tanakpur (286km).

Yumthang Valley, Sikkim
The Yumthang Valley is situated on the northern side of Sikkim and is 3,564m above sea level. The breathtaking valley, which is known as the ‘Valley of Flowers’, is one of the sought-after tourist destinations in the state. The valley is embraced by snow-enveloped mountains and is replete with expansive meadows. A sweet fragrance will waft through the air as you step into the village, which is a slice of paradise. Nature has literally waved the magic wand to create this incredible piece of land and hundreds of tourists flock to the valley to enjoy its pristine beauty.

The best time to visit the valley is in summer, which falls between April and May.

How to reach
You can hail a taxi from Lachung, which is 26km from the Yumthang Valley. The journey to the valley is sublime as both sides of the road are adorned with dazzling rhododendrons. As the valley is near the Chinese border, the tourists have to take an inter-line permit, which could be availed from the Tourist Information Center or a registered tour company.

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